A SPECIAL event designed to get books in the hands of children living in areas with low levels of literacy skills will be held in collaboration with World Book Day.

A wide range of best-selling children’s authors will be reading to more than 1,000 schoolchildren from Middlesbrough as part of the Share a Story Live free event taking place on March 2 at Middlesbrough Town Hall Theatre, during the week of World Book Day.

Organised in collaboration between World Book Day and National Literacy Trust, the event is touring four communities across the UK where low levels of literacy are seriously impacting people’s lives: Middlesbrough, Hastings, Glasgow, and Manchester and hopes to encourage all age groups from toddler to teen to read for pleasure.

Also behind the event on a local level is the National Literacy Trust Hub in Middlesbrough, known locally as Middlesbrough Reads, which works in partnership with Middlesbrough Council to forge links in the local community and improve literacy in the area.

The line up of authors will include: MG Leonard and Sam Sedgman (The Highland Falcon Thief), Katie Sibeal Pounder and Kevin Tsang (Sam Wu is NOT Afraid of Zombies), Sam Copeland (Charlie Changes into a Chicken), Sibeal Pounder (Witch Wars and Bad Mermaids) and Jamie Littler (Frostheart).

Alison Potter, Manager of the National Literacy Trust Hub in Middlesbrough, said: “I am delighted that Middlesbrough is hosting a Share a Story Live event to celebrate World Book Day. It’s fantastic that nearly 1,000 local school pupils will have the opportunity to hear Middlesbrough.

“Hearing and sharing stories is so important for creating excitement around reading, writing and communicating, and I’d like to thank Middlesbrough Council’s Middlesbrough Promise for supporting this wonderful event.”

Kirsten Grant, Director of World Book Day which will take place on March 5, said the Share a Story Live event is part of the charities vision to offer every child in the UK the opportunity to fall in love with reading and books.

“World Book Day is committed to increasing its social impact year-on-year,” she said.

“National Literacy Trust plays a hugely important part in our efforts to bring the joy of sharing a story to young readers where this will make a real difference. Having the chance to be inspired by this amazing range of authors and illustrators will have an enormous impact on how the children in the audience view books and reading. It will be a very special experience for them.”